lakenriver

Monday was our first day of Spring Break, and would you know? We woke up to drizzly rain everywhere. Pretty soon our backyard had a lake and river look about it, and our plans for the day set aside. While movies were definitely on the menu, I thought pulling out some of our creative activities would be a good change. You can see more of our rainy day/sick day fun here. We’ve had this rice tray for a few months, I believe, inspired by Deb at Living Montessori Now . It’s wonderful for pre-writing practice, but also for measuring and pouring and other fine-motor activities. The tray itself is actually an old thing that came with our gas grill many moons ago. After being used for a few months, it was definitely losing popularity as a choice. I remembered seeing colored rice in passing on Pinterest. The idea is simple enough- you dye the rice with food coloring. I didn’t even look it up, but just ran with the idea. All I have in the house is gel food coloring. I’m assuming you could use any type.

ricetray

I placed the rice in four separate gallon sized bags and added a few drops of Lavender essential oil (which smells absolutely yummy!) and called in a few helpers to shake it up.

shakeitup

Here it is after dyeing. They shook the bags for about five minutes, give or take. You can see how rich the gel color makes it here. Because it was gel color, I was a little concerned about the color leaching if the children’s hands were damp or wet, so I popped the whole tray into the oven at 200 F for about forty minutes, so the color would ‘set’ into the rice.

afterdye

And here it is finished. You can see with baking the dye is a little less vibrant, but still beautiful.

finished

Such a pretty rainbow on a yucky, rainy day!

closeup

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